Before I know it, I’m going to attend my high school reunion, and it’s…going to be weird. Honestly, I didn’t have a hellish high school experience. Aside from the usual angst, drama over grades, and friendship woes, I went to a really good school and still maintain a ton of the friendships I made during those four years. On balance, I have very little to complain about. But there’s still something about revisiting our high school selves that can be a little awkward. You’re a different person then; less secure, less aware, pretty ignorant to what it’s like to be an Adult in the Real World; smoking cigarettes underage and dating an older guy doesn’t change that either. If you’re still in high school and you’re reading this, please know that you won’t be an exception when it’s your turn.
The older you get, the more distant high school becomes, the more real you can be with yourself about those four years that pop culture fetishizes like no other. You ask yourself what you really learned in high school. You ask yourself if you should have stayed on the soccer team for as long as you did. You ask yourself if you could still skip prom if you could do it all over again. You ask yourself questions to try to make sense of a time that feels like another universe pretty soon after you’ve left it, and honestly, most of the conclusions you come to aren’t that fulfilling. But in the honor of keeping it real–like we always do at Gurl–here are nine cold hard truths about high school that you should know. Feel free to ignore them, but hey, who knows, maybe you’ll find comfort in these truth bombs.
Everyone Is An Insecure A**hole; Even You (Probably)Honestly, we're all monsters as teenagers. And no, you don't have to be a stereotypical mean girl from a teen movie to fit that description. Why? Well, some of us are just bad people. The rest of us? We're insecure a**holes who don't know what to do with ourselves. But let me tell you, it's fascinating to stay in touch or even befriend people who were your sworn enemies (or, you know, people you really disliked) in high school and see them mature as adults and generally, well, chill out. I'm currently friendly with someone who I absolutely loathed in high school. If you told me years ago that we would be grabbing coffee together as adults, I would have snorted in your face. And yet...Hey, it's amazing what growing the eff up can do. Clueless
You Really WON'T Need Most Of The Things You Learned In High School IRLHey, it's good to know about historical tidbits, and you might need to hold on to your algebra knowledge if you have to take a math pre-requisite in college. But let's be clear: Unless you're specializing in a certain field, you will not need to use most of the information you learned in high school. Honestly, that geometry teacher who claims otherwise is just trying to get you to be less apathetic in class, but it's a lie. Mean Girls
Your Friendship Dynamic Will Change A Lot In High School, PeriodI hate to be a downer, but if you're not already experiencing some serious fluctuations in your friendship group, congratulations...just give it some more time. Sure, you might stay friends with the same general people over the course of four years, but the dynamic will change. People you considered a BFF you'd tell everything to a couple years before might be relegated to just a casual friend you talk to every now and then. People who started off as acquaintances can become your new besties. Oh, and when you graduate, you might almost never talk to someone you were straight up best friends with, even if you didn't have a falling out, and you could become close to people who you weren't super close to in senior year. Life is weird, and it always sucks when a friendship group gets effed up, but you're better off staying prepared. Dazed and Confused
Hold On To Your Rep As A Brilliant Overachiever In High School, Because It Won't Survive Past GraduationCool, you took AP classes, were an IB student, were considered a damn near child genius or prodigy...cool. No, really, that's great. Keep up the good work. But you might as well hold on to that rep you have while you can, because it most likely will not survive graduation. You're the token brilliant student in a bad school system? Have fun being just another student in college. You got a killer SAT score? Sweet, nobody is going to GAF. Sorry, better to know now than later. Gilmore Girls
Your High School Relationship Likely Won't LastDon't yell at me, I'm just being real: High school relationships rarely ever live past graduation. Hell, high school relationships rarely survive a single school year. Yes, there are exceptions, and maybe you and your bae will be one of them. But don't say you weren't warned if s**t hits the fan. Ferris Bueller's Day Off
The Things About High School That Actually Stick Are Never What You ExpectThis isn't so much a rude awakening as a fun fact, but you'll be amazed by what you do and don't retain from high school. The things you end up remembering might be deep and meaningful or absolutely useless in your everyday life, while the things you memorized and studied the hell out of and were really passionate about are lost to the ages. Just Another Girl On The IRT
You Change A Lot In High School, Even If You Don't Think You WillI think teendom is such a weird time because even though it's easy to be eager to experience change and reinventing yourself, a lot of us still cling to this idea that we won't be different people between freshman and senior year. You've probably already projected this expectation onto your friends, which is why you almost feel betrayed when a close friend either changes hobbies or crews and leaves you out to dry. You might be hung up on someone else changing, but newsflash: you're changing too, all the time, whether you like it or not, for better and for worse. It'll be a lot clearer to you once your high school days are behind you. Daria
Nobody Cares About YouIt sounds harsh, but if you hear me out you might find it reassuring. It's easy to spend high school thinking that people are constantly judging you and focused on what you're doing or not doing. Honestly, everyone is just focused on themselves. So dude, breathe a little easy and be more gentle on yourself. Ain't nobody checkin' for you like that. Some Girls
If Your High School Days Are The Best Days Of Your Life, Then You Have A ProblemThere's a brilliant, cynical quote in the movie Dazed and Confused in which one character says, "If I consider [high school] the best days of my life...remind me to kill myself." I mean, don't actually do that, but please...movies and TV shows and social media and the like will have you out here believing that everything is all downhill from high school. That's...not cool. I'm not saying you shouldn't cherish your high school days, but if you're proud that the best days of your life--the best you there could be--existed between the ages of fourteen and eighteen...woof. Chances are, there are much better things on the horizon. Skins
Are you in high school right now and have already realized some of these cold hard truths on your own? Tell us in the comments!